US claims stolen Chinese money washed in Van RE.

Anyone who’s read this site for a while has probably noticed a couple of things:

1. A number of regular reader and commenters here blame wealthy Chinese ‘investor immigrants’ for the high cost of real estate in Vancouver.

2. The administration of this site disagrees and thinks that over-stretched house-horny locals and government insured lending on real estate are primarily to blame for high prices.

Yet we must admit this story has us thinking perhaps the truth is a blend of those two viewpoints:

U.S. alleges Metro Vancouver homes were part of scheme to launder money embezzled in China

Authorities allege that in the summer of 2011, shortly after they qualified for U.S. green cards, Qiao and Zhao began surreptitiously using accomplices to transfer millions of dollars into bank accounts in Wenzhou city, Hong Kong and Canada. At least two Canadian banks were used, HSBC Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Zhao recently put the White Rock property up for sale for $689,000. Paulo Leung, a real estate agent with Regent Park Realty, said he had also sold the property to her in 2012 as an investment. He declined to say more. Both properties are being managed by Vancouver-based Chartell Properties. A receptionist there said they knew Zhao.

A search of property and title records conducted by The Vancouver Sun show that Zhao’s numbered company bought the properties outright. However, a few months later, it took out mortgages on both, totalling $1.1 million, that represented almost their entire market value. According to the U.S. indictment, a few weeks later Zhao and Qiao took money from their Canadian RBC account to pay for a Bellevue home.

Officials for the RCMP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada said they did not know if their departments assisted U.S. and Chinese investigators, and could not comment if they did.

Read the full article over in the Vancouver Sun.

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[…] is the next… Calgary?!? -Economy shrinks -Over 55? Stop paying property tax sucker! -Who ya gonna blame for this crazy market? -What is the Difference between bulls and bears? -An orderly correction please. […]

Hibernating Renter
Member
Hibernating Renter

#63, #66: I voted YES to both but not for the direct reason. I think locals are bidding up prices because of their perception that it’s HAM who are bidding up prices, and HAM is endless. If we kill off HAM, it will do very little, but it will set off a panic.

Son of Ponzi
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Son of Ponzi

#73
Here in Vancouver it would be called “reductio ad HAMum”. 🙂

renters rule
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renters rule

@79

Levi’s brother.

Boombust
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Boombust

BTW, who the hell is Leo Strauss? A friend of your parents?

Boombust
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Boombust

#73, Softly,

Well, bully for Leo Strauss.

You had to pull nonsense like THAT out of the bag to support YOUR argument?

UBC in crisis mode
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UBC in crisis mode

@56 is right on!

Van West, the HAM only market:

SFH on the market: 782

5 million : 197

southseacompany
Member
southseacompany
“Canadian Junk Market Freezes as Poloz Compounds Oil Collapse”, Bloomberg Business http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-30/canadian-junk-market-freezes-as-poloz-compounds-oil-collapse “If the Bank of Canada’s surprise interest rate cut was meant to spur companies to borrow, it’s not working in the nation’s high-yield bond market.” “Canada’s rate cut “definitely did not add confidence to the market — in fact many people see it as an act of panic,” Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said Friday in a phone interview. “If I’m in the business of investment and I see this uncertainty, I just sit.”” “The impact of lower oil prices was already starting to be felt in Canada’s job market in February, with Alberta, home to the bulk of Canada’s oil production, posting a 14,000 decline in employment.” “By industry, the biggest job losses nationally were the 19,900 in manufacturing, a bad… Read more »
southseacompany
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southseacompany
“Canadians Don’t Seem Too Worried About Slowing Economy”, Wall Street Journal http://blogs.wsj.com/canadarealtime/2015/03/30/canadians-dont-seem-too-worried-about-slowing-economy/ “Most of Canada’s households are confident an economic slowdown due to the decline in oil prices won’t have a noticeable negative impact on their finances, according to a survey by the umbrella group for the country’s accountants.” “Oil is Canada’s biggest export, and the sharp decline in crude oil prices in recent months is expected to have a negative impact on the economy overall.” “conomists disagree about the extent and timing of the impact, but Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said in a recent interview with the Financial Times that the decline would have an “atrocious” effect.” ““There are signs the economy and economic fundamentals are weakening at a time when high levels of household indebtedness has been consistently identified by the Bank of Canada as one… Read more »
southseacompany
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southseacompany
“Homeowners can’t shut the door on sudden, sharp financial shocks”, Globe & Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/mortgages/homeowners-must-stay-alert-for-surprises/article23694693/ “If a couple of our big bank CEOs are right, the housing market is either fine or going to correct in orderly fashion.” “House prices in Canada have pulled back modestly in some cities lately, but the national average price is still almost 42 per cent ahead of where it was at the end of 2008. If houses had behaved normally and gone up by the inflation rate over that same period, the increase would have been closer to 12 per cent.” “When the price for any financial asset rises sharply, there are always explanations that suggest the fundamentals are sound and thus there’s no reason to worry. Energy prices were sustained up until last fall by a belief in rising economic growth and declining oil… Read more »
Softy
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Softy
@58 “You MUST admit, this HAM hullabaloo is quite similar to the blame/scapegoating the Jews dealt with during the Nazi era in Germany when the Jews were only .5% of the entire German population.” This is a reductio ad hilterum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum (Latin for “reduction to Hitler”, with Hitlerum serving as a Latinized form of Hitler’s name), is a term coined by philosopher Leo Strauss in 1951.[1] According to Strauss, the Reductio ad Hitlerum is a humorous observation where someone compares an opponent’s views with those that would be held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party. According to Strauss, Reductio ad Hitlerum is a form of ad hominem or ad misericordiam, a fallacy of irrelevance, in which a conclusion is suggested based solely on something’s or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning.[citation… Read more »
88
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88

“This guy is in some tower in Toronto and he thinks he has an expert handle on Vancouver real estate.”

Reminds me of patriotz.

Bo Xilai
Member
Bo Xilai

#69 – Garth Turner is a royal Douchebag. Even spell those “not-to-be-mentioned” letters, “HAM” and he won’t publish your post. Even David Mulroney’s (our former ambassador to China) opinion is to be ignored because it doesn’t fit Garth’s narrative.
This guy is in some tower in Toronto and he thinks he has an expert handle on Vancouver real estate.

Corrupt in Canada
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Corrupt in Canada

66

Of course it would be less expensive, but so would if the interest rates were high, or we never changed the CMHC lending rules.

There is no silver bullet in reality, but according to most Canadians they believe stopping foreign investment alone would be one.

Oracle
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Oracle

Don’t even mention Garth on this blog. He is a has been politician and can lie with a straight face. “Show me stats”, “where is the proof” blah blah blah.

The guy writes his blog and makes millions from people who sell their houses and invest with him. He is managing $500 Million now. Smart guy but he had to lie to get where he is. To bad for the suckers that follow him and believe HAM is non-existent.

flaneur
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flaneur

vangrl, please define “foreign investment”.
If Qiao & Zhou invested in 10 properties in BC using their BC registered numbered company, 0930499 B.C. Ltd . Are these investments considered “local” or “foreign”?

flaneur
Guest
flaneur

“Richmond woman arrested after allegedly attacking attendant on Wesjet”
No recognizable photos of the perpetrator on our local media, but several good shots of her face appear on ethnic papers. Who is blowing this to a holocaustal size, or is it not just a lack of plain good manner.

vangrl
Member
vangrl

OK lets do a poll.

Say we never had the IIP program and we had solid restrictions on foreign investment.

How many people think that HOUSES in West Van, East North, North Van & Richmond would be less expensive than they are right now.

UPVOTE=YES
DOWNVOTE=NO

history
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history

Boombust bingo HAM hullababoo,

it is unfortunate this post may disappear, but i think similarly. Uncanny resemblence.

Boombust
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Boombust

Oh, and some Vancouver Sun reporters would have done just as well working at Der Angriffe” or “Volkischer Beobachacter”.

Corrupt in Canada
Guest
Corrupt in Canada

OK Lets do a poll.

Say we get rid of all foreign investment tomorrow.

How many people would believe that would solve the affordability crisis?

UPVOTE=YES
DOWNVOTE=NO

Westside Realtor
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Westside Realtor

Still dirt cheap to rent vs buy.

My guess is that the price increases stall out in a few months time, and that we won’t see current prices again for a decade or more.

WSR

88
Guest
88

East Van is now more affordable than Richmond.